Saturday, 31 March 2012

Taboo Voodoo - Something's cookin' 2002

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Progressive/Fusion
Original Release Date: 2002
Label: Lion Music Finland

Cyril Achard - guitar

Mike Terrana - drums

Ivan Rougny - bass

Jean Marc Layani - keyboard solo (8)

One of the characteristics of progressive rock is that many musicians are involved in more than one band and also in several projects, to find an outlet for their growing creativity. This is also the case for drummer Mike Terrana (Rage), who has played with people like Yngwie Malmsteen, Rage, Axel Rudi Pell and Tony MacAlpine, but wanted to play something else than the simple "balls to the walls metal" as he has been doing for some time now. Interesting is that this amazing drummer is inspired by big band and jazz music and at home he listens a lot to Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich. As Mike himself says: "I think it's cool to make heavy metal music swing and groove." So although being a full time drummer in Rage, he found time to team up with the French guitarist Cyril Achard and they formed Taboo Voodoo.

The music immediately kicks in with opening track "Print Of Time" and sets the mood to swing with a combination of brilliant drumming, excellent guitar and laced with keyboards. Terrana and Achard manage to keep the heavy sound in the music, but at the same time it has a jazz touch to it. They also manage to maintain this throughout the album with a very balanced and un-chaotic sound. Although instrumental albums often tend to be too technical, with Taboo Voodoo this is not the case. Of course their playing is very good and it has to be a bit technical to be interesting, as there are no vocals, so the music has to sort of fill in that part, but it also has a warm feeling and you can hear it is played with a lot of pleasure. "Clandestine Soul" is a beautiful ballad, with modest drums and this song brings the play of Ivan Rougny (bass) to the foreground, as he gets lots of room to show his talent. This song could almost be called "easy listening!" "Full Cycle" has a nice blues rhythm, again with a lot of room for the bass. On "Double Entendre," Achard plays acoustic guitar, as he also does in "Something About You," which is just Achard playing his guitar and shows once more that he is a very versatile guitarist. On "Sorcery" they are joined by Jean Marc Layani, who plays a nice keyboard solo.

Something's Cookin' is a very good album with the latter half being filled mostly with ballads, but also has a heavy side and many different influences in the songs. Mike Terrana is an excellent drummer and Cyril Achard does not only know how to play the guitar, but also how to compose interesting songs, as he wrote all the songs on the album. It would be very interesting to see them play this material live! This album will surprise many and really deserves more than one spin, as it is a very good album and it is a pleasure to listen to. The artwork is funny, but the production is excellent. All drums are recorded by Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween, Masterplan). Listen to it and let yourself be surprised.